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What Birds To Expect This Month PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Spraque   
Jul 01, 2017 at 06:00 AM


                                                        *  A U G U S T  *   

(Photo credits and descriptions of photos can be seen by "mousing over" each photo. )


Cedar Waxwings will often nest late in the season. Photo by Sydney Smith of Wellingtonrds are still nesting this month and other birds are migrating this month. CEDAR WAXWINGS (photo by Sydney Smith of Wellington) and AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES are late nesters in Prince Edward County and these species will be nesting on into the latter part of August. SONG SPARROWS may try a third brood this month, but with these exceptions, few birds will be seen nesting far into August. MOURNING DOVES will often produce several broods of young during the year, occasionally nesting into late September.


Meanwhile at the beach, while shorelines at Sandbanks are saturated with August sunbathers, less busy beaches elsewhere will continue to see some evidence of shorebirds passing through as they stop to feed in mats of decaying algae along shores and in mudflats. The adults of shorebirds usually migrate first, and through July we watched as LESSER YELLOWLEGS and LEAST SANDPIPERS passed through. This month, others are apt to show up such as BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, RUDDY TURNSTONES, PECTORAL SANDPIPERS, SANDERLINGS, and SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS, although scatterings of the latter three did occur as early this year as mid-July. The numbers of adult shorebird migrants come to a peak in late July, then tend to taper off in August as we wait for the arrival of the juveniles. By the middle of this month, our shorebird surveys at local beaches will reveal the adult birds being outnumbered by the juveniles as their numbers steadily increase. We can expect to see 20 or more species of shorebirds as they work their way south. These birds are on a remarkable migration that is taking them from their sub-Arctic breeding grounds, south to South America, some as far as Argentina. Last month was an exceptional month for shorebirds locally, as flooded agricultural fields from this year`s high lake levels, such as the one along Huff`s Island Road, suddenly became hotspots for shorebirds and watchers of shorebirds.


In the forests bird song has dwindled to a low ebb, with the exception of the RED-EYED VIREO, EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE and a few others whose songs persist through the humid days of early August. Swallows are still gathering on utility wires, although in alarmingly fewer numbers than a few decades ago (those days are long gone); however, species such as UPLAND SANDPIPERS, BOBOLINKS, and others will be more difficult to find, at least in any great numbers.


Keeping a sharp eye on focal points such as Point Petre, Salmon Point and Prince Edward Point may pay off in handsome dividends as the hawk migration begins. Numbers of COOPER’S HAWKS, BROAD-WINGED HAWKS and RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS may start to appear, building as the season advances.


If you choose to bird in the fall, you can forget the spectacular orange sunburst that the male Blackburnian Warbler is known for in the spring. This is likely as good as it gets! . Photo by Garry Kirsch Warblers too will be appearing in mid-August, on their southward migration. The deciduous woods along Prince Edward County’s South Shore, as well as Presqu’ile Park, will reveal NASHVILLE, CHESTNUT-SIDED, MAGNOLIA, CAPE MAY, BLACK-THROATED BLUE, YELLOW-RUMPED, BLACKBURNIAN  (see photo at left by Ian Dickinson of Belleville), CANADA, BAY-BREASTED, AMERICAN REDSTART, OVENBIRD and NORTHERN WATERTHRUSHES this month. The majority of warblers passing through will be in drab fall plumage, thoughtfully referred to in the Peterson Guide as “confusing fall warblers.” It is this month when volunteers at the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory return to commence the fall banding of migratory birds, that will continue right into the September and continue into October with the NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL banding program.


It is best when birding this month to spend a little time reading up on the fall plumages of birds that you may be encountering this month. Most will be drab, and in the cases of warblers, many species will resemble each other. And for those who bird entirely by ear, the difficulty in separating the fall plumaged birds will become even greater as most will not be in full song. Fall banding at Prince Edward Point gets underway by mid-August as they offer a peek into the high numbers of fall migrants that pass through Prince Edward County every year at this time. Fall banding will conclude October 31st. For more information on the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, CLICK HERE.

So, there’s not enough reason to put away your binoculars. There is a lot around and they will be gone all too soon. Enjoy them while they are still here.

Don’t forget - we do enjoy hearing about your sightings. Everything that comes in is entered on the computer. This information is valuable in getting a better feel for the habits of those birds that choose to migrate through, or nest in, Prince Edward County.
To get a more detailed look at what birds are around, be sure to check the Friday night weekly QUINTE AREA BIRD REPORT. The Report includes sightings from not only the general Bay of Quinte area, but also from as far east as the Odessa area, and west to beyond Cobourg and north to at least Highway 7. Always a good read every week with one or two new photos posted with each new Report.
You can e-mail me with your sightings right from this LINK.

(Photo credits and descriptions of photos can be seen by "mousing over" each photo. )


Last Updated ( Jul 25, 2017 at 09:13 AM )
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July 26, 2017 6:39 pm